Labours Of Hercules By Agatha Christie

Flakes of snow melted and dripped from the corners of

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Unformatted text preview: ir front doors down here and it was dusk." Poirot said to Nurse Harrison, and his voice was hard and venomous: "Can you explain these facts. Nurse Harrison? I think not. There was no arsenic in that box when it left Messrs I 95 Woolworth, but there was when it left Miss Bristow's house." He added softly, "It was unwise of you to keep a supply of arsenic in your possession." Nurse Harrison buried her face in her hands. She said in a low dull voice: "Ifs true — it's all true . . . I killed her. And all for nothing — nothing . . . I was mad" VII Jean MoncriefFe said: "I must ask you to forgive me, M. Poirot. I have been so angry with you — so terribly angry with you. It seemed to me that you were making everything so much worse." Poirot said with a smile: "So I was to begin with. It is like in the old legend of the Lemean Hydra. Every time a head was cut off, two heads grew in its place. So, to begin with, the rumours grew and multiplied. But you see my task, like that of my namesake Hercules, was to reach the first—the original head. Who had started this rumour? It did not take me long to discover that the originator of the story was Nurse Harrison. I went to 96 see her. She appeared to be a very nice woman -- intelligent and sympathetic. But almost at once she made a bad mistake -she repeated to me a conversation which she had overheard taking place between you and the doctor, and that conversation, you see, was all wrong. It was psychologically most unlikely. If you and the doctor had planned together to kill Mrs. Oldfield, you are both of you far too intelligent and level-headed to hold such a conversation in a room with an open door, easily overheard by someone on the stairs or someone in the kitchen. Moreover, the words attributed to you did not fit in at all with your mental make-up. They were the words of a much older woman and of one of a quite different type. They were words such as would be imagined by Nurse Harrison as being used by herself in like circumstances. "I had, up to then, regarded the whole matter as fairly simple. Nurse Harrison, I realised, was a fairly young and still handsome woman -- she had been thrown closely with Doctor Oldfield for nearly three years--the doctor had been very fond of her and grateful to her for her tact 97 and sympathy. She had formed the impression that if Mrs. Oldfield died, the doctor would probably ask her to marry him. Instead of that, after Mrs. Oldfield's death, she learns that Doctor Oldfield is in love with you. Straightaway, driven by anger and jealousy, she starts spreading the rumour that Doctor Oldfield has poisoned his wife. "That, as I say, was how I had visualised the position at first. It was a case of a jealous woman and a lying rumour. But the old trite phrase 'no smoke without fire' recurred to me significantly. I wondered if Nurse Harrison had done more than spread a rumour. Certain things she said rang strangely. She told me that Mrs. Oldfield's illness was largely...
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This note was uploaded on 07/28/2011 for the course LITERATURE 101 taught by Professor Agathachristie during the Spring '11 term at Heritage.

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